NELSON Oliveira could make a dramatic return for Reading FC in tonight’s home clash against Blackburn Rovers (8pm ko).

The on-loan Norwich City striker has been fitted with a protective facemask following the horrific injuries he received in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on February 2.

Oliveira claimed Mings, who is on loan from Bournemouth, stamped on his face deliberately, though the player claims it was an accident and the FA decided not to explore retrospective punishment as the incident was seen by referee Geoff Eltringham.

Oliveira’s nose was smashed in four places but he appears to have made a miraculous recovery from reconstructive surgery.

The Portuguese striker’s scars appear to have almost cleared up in a selfie he posted on Instagram this week, along with the caption: “Looking like new already”.

Reading Chronicle:

Royals boss Jose Gomes also suggested Oliveira could be back in the frame for the Blackburn game, though he will consult with medical staff today before making a final decision.

Tonight’s clash took on extra significance after last night’s Championship results mostly went against relegation-threatened Royals, who lie 22nd in the table.

Bolton, in 23rd, secured their first away win since August for a surprise victory at Birmingham City to move level on points (26) with Reading, having played one more game.

And Rotherham in 21st came from two down to seal an unlikely draw at Nigel Adkins’ Hull City to increase their lead over Royals by a further point before tonight’s round of matches.

Reading have won just one of their eight league games under Gomes since he replaced Paul Clement in December, though they have drawn their last three games against Bolton, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.

However, the Reading boss admitted draws are not enough to save his side from the drop.

Speaking after Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate at Hillsborough he said: “If we draw all of our games until the end, it may not be enough. We need more points to be safe.

“At home or away, we need to get more points. Hopefully this will come on Wednesday, we will score more and win.”

Gomes could also welcome back Ovie Ejaria tonight after the on-loan Liverpool midfielder missed Saturday’s draw against the Owls through sickness.

However, Anssi Jaakkola (Achilles), Sam Baldock (thigh), Saeid Ezatolahi (thigh) and Jordan Obita (knee) are unavailable.

Meanwhile, ex-Reading striker Dominic Samuel and former Reading Town Defender Ben Gladwin are part of a long Blackbury injury list that also includes Darragh Lenihan and Jacob Davenport.

However, manager Tony Mowbray could welcome back midfielder Corry Evans after a two-game absence.

Blackburn will be looking to end a run of successive Championship defeats after a 1-0 home loss to Bristol City on Saturday and 5-2 thumping at Brentford.

Reading, meanwhile, have not won on a Wednesday night in their past 10 attempts, losing six and drawing four.

Follow the Reading Chronicle for live coverage of tonight’s game and post-match reaction.